24 November 2017, Kyiv – United Nations agencies, funds and programs in Ukraine together with 75 partners will conduct more than 200 events in Ukraine during November 24- December 10 in order to raise awareness of the problem and encourage Ukrainians to eliminate gender-based violence in the country.

The theme of the 2017 global campaign is "Leave no one behind: Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls" - reflects commitment of the UNiTE campaign initiated by the UN Secretary-General, to free the world from violence against women and girls. This topic is extremely relevant for Ukraine since 90 percent of gender-based violence in the country is targeted at women and girls.

The 16-day campaign includes workshops and discussions with experts in educational institutions and public places, media briefings, photo exhibitions, radio and TV programs in all regions of Ukraine.

The key element of the all-Ukrainian campaign is "Flash mob of the cities", during which the Monument of Independence in Kyiv and prominent architectural objects were highlighted in orange in 16 cities all over Ukraine. Hundreds of participants on Independence Square and in other Ukrainian cities opened orange umbrellas as a symbol of fight with the violence against women and girls.

According to a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) survey, every fifth woman in Ukraine has experienced physical or sexual violence at least once in her lifetime. According to the researches, the cost of violence for the country's economy is estimated at $208 million a year.

Effectively addressing violence against women and girls requires a comprehensive approach. It starts with a new attitude: simply put, this violence is unacceptable. Ukraine should ratify the Istanbul Convention, pass appropriate legislation and ensure its implementation. Support for victims is also critical. Working together, we can stop violence against women and girls in Ukraine.’ – said Neal Walker, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine.

The situation is aggravated both by the lack of quality services, and the fact that the problem is often concealed. Because of this, only about 30 percent of cases of violence are reported, and consequently the corresponding number of victims receives help.

That is why Anastasia Melnychenko, a writer and a journalist, initiator of a large-scale campaign in social networks "I'm not Afraid to Say" and the author of the book with the same name, joined the campaign.

"The offenders will feel safe until the women stay silent, and women will remain silent until they are blamed for what happened: she provoked him, she was too openly dressed, she was returning home late and on her own, etc. So far, the victims themselves bear the burden of shame for the violence, and the offenders continue to stay unpunished. That is why we have to talk, breaking the shame and the bans ", - said Anastasia Melnychenko.

Information note:

The campaign «16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Ukraine», which begins on 25 November, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and continues until the International Human Rights Day on December 10, is directed to draw the attention to the issue of violence against women, which happens every year around the world. These time frames have been chosen to symbolically combine violence against women and human rights, and to emphasize that the violence is a flagrant violation of the human rights.

More information about all the activities in different cities of Ukraine within the framework of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Ukraine: http://bit.ly/2mK2lDU